LAUNCHING SAFEGROWTH IN EUROPE - REFLECTIONS FROM HELSINGBORG'S H22 SMART CITY EXPO by Mateja Mihinjac & Gregory SavilleRead Now
Swedish promotional video on SafeGrowth for the H22 Smart City Expo - music video courtesy of MOOSGH
by Mateja Mihinjac & Gregory Saville
The H22 Smart City Expo in Helsingborg, Sweden is approaching its final days. What a month it has been for the two of us and the SafeGrowth neighbourhood team on the ground!
This is the first-ever demonstration of the SafeGrowth neighbourhood safety planning system in Europe and the H22 Smart City Expo is a month-long, international demonstration of all things futuristic, promising, and technological for cities in the future. Helsingborg is the host of the H22 Expo and the neighbourhood of Drottninghög has been the site of SafeGrowth community work for the past year.
In the first week, we held a series of safety audit workshops in Drottninghög where residents have been implementing parts of the SafeGrowth model. We hosted professional visitors from municipalities across Europe wanting to learn more about SafeGrowth and its methods. We demonstrated our safety audit process and technology using a mobile app to collect perception of safety data during night walking audits that communities can use for subsequent safety-based community work.
THE NIGHT SAFETY AUDITS
We also facilitated a night-time safety audit with a large group of 40 attendees from the Urban Future Conference, which was a welcome challenge. We divided participants into several small groups to demonstrate the method. It was necessary for us to keep our participants until after darkness, which mean that the audit could not effectively start until 22:30 when it finally got dark enough to observe the nighttime environment!
We were delighted to see they stayed late into the evening and enthusiastically engaged in the exercise. It was satisfying to hear such positive comments from the participants afterwards.
Our second highlight included two different H22 talks and Urban Future Conference presentations when we introduced SafeGrowth to industry partners. Both presentations included a brief overview of SafeGrowth and its initial stages of implementation in Drottninghög with Greg Saville, Mateja Mihinjac and Iman Abbas. The sessions included interactive discussions with the audience as they investigated how to adopt this in their own cities across Sweden and Europe.
We were fortunate to invite an outstanding group of panelists of our key stakeholders to the Urban Future Conference session. They included members of our neighbourhood team:
This panel shared their own personal insights into their experience with the SafeGrowth method over the past year, its potential, challenges during their work on the ground, and the future outlook.
THE LOCAL TEAM
One of the most crucial roles in the entire SafeGrowth experience at the H22 Expo was the role of the SafeGrowth team under the guidance of the city’s coordinators Iman Abbas and Mia Wiklund.
Iman and Mia helped provide direct interaction with attendees and they demonstrated the SafeGrowth method to neighbourhood and city residents, visitors, politicians, professionals, researchers and tourists who wanted to learn about SafeGrowth work underway in Europe for the first time. Iman, Mia and all the local team members continue to spread the message until the very last day of the Expo.
We were delighted with the professionalism and expertise of all our new friends in Drottninghög and we are convinced this is the exact message deserving of a smarter - and safer - city in the future.
We thank the residents and local community of Drottninghög who continue to volunteer their valuable time to make their neighbourhood safer and more liveable. Special thanks go to Iman Abbas and Mia Wiklund who have been working tirelessly while coordinating the neighbourhood team in their SafeGrowth work and planning for the H22 Smart City Expo.
Thank you all!